The Glass Menagerie Symbolism Essay

1373 Words 6 Pages
“The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams is an example of a classic tragedy. However, the characters in the drama do not encounter death. The characters encounter family instability, abandonment, and resentment. The title of this drama accurately represents these characters. Amanda, the mother of family, refers to her daughter Laura’s collection of glass figurines as a glass menagerie. This means her collection acts as a glass zoo filled with animal figurines. Yet, “The Glass Menagerie” could also mean a collection of diverse glass people. This definition would accurately describe the unusual and fragile characters this drama displays. The playwright’s unique view on the human condition is displayed through unique characters, symbolism, …show more content…
The play also demonstrates additional symbolisms, theme, soliloquy, and aside. For example, Jim O’Connor refers to Laura as “Blue Roses”. The nickname symbolizes that Laura is beautiful, yet unusual. This relates to the theme of reality. Laura doesn’t accept the reality of life, which means either working toward a career or marrying. Amanda points out in Scene 4, that Laura just “drifts along, doing nothing”. The fire escape outside of the Wingfield’s apartment also is a symbol. It symbolizes escape from the apartment that Tom compares to a coffin in Scene 4. Tom sneaks away to the fire escape multiple times in the play in order to smoke and temporarily escape from the stress of the apartment. This relates to the theme of abandonment. Frederickson and Velsasco-Whetsell …show more content…
The character of Tom suggests that even a good person struggles to balance their selfish desires and their responsibility for their family. Tom loves his family and does his best to support them. He even claimed in Act 3 that he would rather have his head bashed in than go to work in the morning. Yet, he goes to work each morning and pays the bills. Nonetheless, he reveals to Jim O’Connor in Scene 6 that he paid his Union of Merchant Seamen dues over the electric bill. The playwright also seems to value art. Siroha observes that “Tom and Laura seek some meaning in art” (52). Laura arranges her glass animals like an artist arranging a sculpture. Tom seeks writing out after a long day of work. Art is a reoccurring theme that acts as an escape for both Tom and

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